As part of the global climate strike happening across the world in over 160 countries last week, Terrace took its own stand in front of city hall on Sept. 20.
Approximately 50 participants of all ages came with signs that read “There is no planet B” and “City hall declare a climate emergency now” to raise awareness about climate change in the community.
“It’s so nice to have people together and everybody coming to speak, to think about their children,” says Leticia Kistamas, founder of Plastic Free Terrace who also organized the event.
“When I look at my children, I want to say that I tried something. That I tried to help to sustain their future, to make sure they have access to clean water, clean air and sustainable food sources.”
Kistamas says she was taken aback by the number of people that took time off from work and even the students who skipped class to show up for the rally.
Recent high school graduate Reily Kurik, 18, says she thinks the older generation hasn’t been educated on how some of their actions have negatively affected the environment and that many resist change because they may feel blamed.
She adds that even peers her own age have trouble having a conversation, especially if their family’s never talked about it and it needs to be more discussed at school.
“I think when they were young, they weren’t really taught this… I think it’s pretty new to them so it’s hard for them to get used to it because they were taught in their old ways,” says Kurik.
“We’re not properly educated on it and we’re not taught enough on what’s going on, it’s not taken seriously… We have a lot of resources here that we should try to protect.”
Amongst the crowd were NDP candidate for Skeena-Bulkley Valley Taylor Bachrach, Green Party candidate Mike Sawyer and Independent candidate Danny Nunes to offer their support.
Sawyer says it’s an emotional time for a lot of youth especially, as many may feel overwhelmed with global issues that are beyond their control. He notes that people are feeling more depressed and anxious nowadays, so it’s necessary to take care of one another while having these conversations moving forward.
“In terms of this movement, we want to make sure people are taking care of their mental health and this is a deeply, depressing subject if you let it overwhelm you,” Sawyer says.
“We’re going into some troubling times and there’s going to be a lot of challenges… be kind to yourself, take care of your friends, family and neighbours.”
Another climate strike will take place this Friday, Sept. 27 at 5 p.m. in front of city hall in Terrace.